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West Side Business News & Notes

1/23/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Countryside Farmers’ Markets accepting vendor applications

PENINSULA — Countryside Conservancy began accepting new vendor applications for its Countryside Farmers’ Markets at Howe Meadow and Highland Square Jan. 21.

Now entering the 10th anniversary season, these markets drew more than 48,000 customers and saw nearly $1 million in combined sales in 2013, according to Conservancy officials.

Countryside Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow opens May 10 and will continue every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon through Oct. 25. Countryside Farmers’ Market at Highland Square will open May 29 and will take place every Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. through Oct. 2. Due to scale and location differences, each market provides a unique opportunity for vendors, according to Conservancy officials, who say Howe Meadow necessitates a high volume of product, while the Highland Square market is a good venue for burgeoning food businesses and beginning farmers.

Countryside is concentrating its search for new vendors on those providing grains, fermented foods, pickled foods, flowers and staples such as corn meal, flour and popcorn. Farmers with these products, as well as other unique, high-quality items, may submit an application, available at the website www.cvcountryside.org, through March 14. Applicants will be notified by March 28 regarding their acceptance or denial.

According to conservancy officials, competition for existing spaces is extremely high, and all who apply might not be accepted.

For market guidelines and fees, review the Vendor Handbook on the website. For additional questions, call Beth Knorr or Erin Molnar at 330-657-2542.


hfa CEO retiring

Jack DeLeo
DOWNTOWN AKRON — After more than 40 years, Jack DeLeo, president/CEO of Hitchcock, Fleming and Associates Inc. (hfa), has retired. 

DeLeo began his career under hfa founder Bob Fleming, moved up through the agency and has served as president since 1997.  

In preparation for his retirement, DeLeo has worked on a succession plan to ensure hfa will continue to be a solid agency focused on providing strategic and creative solutions for its partners, according to company officials.

In June, DeLeo was inducted into the American Advertising Federation-Cleveland Hall of Fame for his contributions to hfa, creative ability, contributions to the general advancement of advertising and contributions to the community. He was also the recipient of the Betty Dalton Community Service Award, given by the Greenleaf Family Center, a few months later.

DeLeo is a member of the 4As Purple Forum Group, co-chairman of the 4As Cleveland Council, governor of the 4As Central Region Committee and a board member for the John S. Knight Center. His civic involvements include working with the American Cancer Society and Arthritis Foundation.

In February, he will be honored with an Ambassador of Service award from the Rotary Club of Akron. The award exemplifies service above self. Jack and a team of associates from hfa have been involved with the Akron Rotary Camp for a number of years, according to hfa officials.


Akron SCORE sees increase in clients in 2013

AKRON — Akron SCORE assisted more than 400 small businesses in its four-county service area in 2013 through one-on-one mentoring and workshops designed to give clients improved business skills, the organization announced recently.

More than 1,000 counseling sessions were conducted during the year, with a 7 percent increase in clients requesting more than one counseling session.

“Our counselors have experience in virtually every business discipline, and we can put together a custom counseling team to cover the needs of our clients,” said Tom Duke, chair of Akron SCORE.

A total of 86 workshops were held during the year, with the majority being conducted at The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron. Approximately 1,400 entrepreneurs attended the workshops with topics such as business basics, business plan, financial management, marketing techniques, selling, QuickBooks, international business, building a website, social media and patent basics. Workshops also were conducted at other sites in Medina, Portage and Wayne counties.

Counselors contributed 10,680 hours of their time during the year, an average of 168 per counselor.

“All of this time and expertise is donated at no charge by our counselors,” said Duke. “If a for-profit counseling firm had supplied these services, they would have been worth more than $1.6 million at the going rate of $150 per hour,” he added.

The businesses that are counseled add many millions more to the local economy, according to Akron SCORE officials.

Akron SCORE continues to be a partner with the Akron Urban League in the Partnership for the Minority Business Accelerator (PMBA) program in which it is mentoring 16 minority and women entrepreneurs. In addition, the Student Entrepreneur Mentoring Program directed at students at Kent State University and The University of Akron was initiated in 2013. This program is for students who want to start a business.


Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.

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